What would you tell the old Andrew?
“You need to relax from being the foolish person that you are.” The person I am today is happy and thankful for the foolish person that I was because through the old me, I was able to learn to be a better person. I am thankful for how this time has changed me. It really opened my eyes and helped me become a better person.
Incarcerated: 2 years
How do you feel about going home from San Quentin?
I’m excited and feel happier every day as it gets closer. My wife has been sick and I’d really like to be there to take care of her. She needs me out there. She had her foot amputated because of diabetes. She travels five hours to visit me, in her wheelchair but hasn’t been here lately because of the amputation. We’ve only had video visits and I was able to see her in her hospital bed. If this isn’t love, I don’t know what love is. We’ve been together off and on since ‘98.
How does it make you feel to be loved by her?
It feels really good, you never know when that person could be gone and if you’ll have the chance to tell them you love them, one last time. You never know how long you have with them. You want them to know how much they were there for you and thank them. If she could be there for me, then why can’t I be there for her, and give her the same love she gives me?
Being loved by her is what makes me want to change because I see the things she does for me while I’m here. She inspires me, seeing all the love she has to give. I can see that she is hurting and in pain yet she still loves me. As a human being, I can see there is more to life than just being behind these prison walls. She helps me see that in the real world. She’s calmed me down a lot from who I was before. Seeing all the love she has, gives me the inspiration to be a better man, husband and father to my kids.
What do you mean by “calmed me down?”
I used to be on drugs, the worst you can think of. I would not listen to her positive advice. I’d actually say, “You’re dumb, I don’t care.” I never listened to her, this time in prison, receiving real love, was an eye-opener.I thought I was bad because I was on drugs. This was a reality check.
What would you tell the old Andrew?
“You need to relax from being the foolish person that you are.” The person I am today is happy and thankful for the foolish person that I was because, through the old me, I was able to learn to be a better person. I am thankful for how this time has changed me. It really opened my eyes and helped me become a better person.
What made you finally listen to your wife?
My wife’s health worsened and I was looking at a life sentence. I saw that it was no joke. I’m here with my fellow peers that are lifers and it sucks because they don’t deserve that. I don’t want to end up like them, I got a second chance to live my life.
Coming out of San Quentin, what would you tell the world?
This is not a place for an individual to exist. When someone tells you something, please listen because behind the walls there’s a lot of ugly things. Be a good citizen and follow the law so you don’t end up in prison. You don’t want to be told when to do everything when to eat, use the phone, when to shower and when to even use the bathroom.
What are you going to do now when you get out?
I’m going to be with my wife, get married and take care of her the best I can. I want to be there for her.
What do you think about the Humans of San Quentin? How has it helped you or made an impact in your life?
It will work for people that want to make it work for themselves. People on the street might see the light on us, what we are doing, so those that are lost won’t commit a crime. It could wake them up to stay out or not come back to prison. If the judges and district attorneys who send us here had a minute to see our transformation from beginning to end, then they will note that we are human and do not belong here. They wanted to give me life, and now I got a second chance. I’m going home to take care of my wife.